Ten Big Decisions

It's a very simple problem, from the GM chair

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=== Eyes Slideways ===

[COMIC PANEL ONE] You kiddies are desperately hoping for something to occur that might distract SSI, and cause it to talk about something other than soldiers killing people and breaking things.  

[COMIC PANEL TWO] Hector Noesi occurs today.  

[COMIC PANEL THREE]  ::crickets::  :: Dr D thrashes about for a punch line ::

Where is Jeff Sullivan when you really need him?

..........

The infield battles are not very interesting.  Well, it's interesting to see whether the M's will keep only two catchers, and whether they can find room for Alex Liddi or Nick Franklin.  But 1B-2B-SS-3B are set.

The 5-man outfield rotation is kind of interesting.  However, all of the outfielders other than Morse and possibly Saunders are of roughly equal talent.  Whether the M's give time to Casper Wells or Jason Bay is unlikely to swing the balance of power in the West.

The M's are loaded in the bullpen.  That's not a battle; it's an impending bloodbath.  For the other teams.  I know a couple of pricey AL West teams who had better get their leads by the 6th inning.  

..........

However, the starting rotation battle is both (1) fascinating and (2) a pivot point for the M's presumed future domination of hardball as we know it.

Cinderella teams occur, and usually they occur because Billy Beane finds five starting pitchers who lock you down.  The M's cleanest path to a big season is by getting a surprise rotation going.  It could like totally happen.  It is most heinously the job of the shot-callers to MAKE it happen.  They can't afford to be feebleminds on their rotation calls.

Capt Jack and Sgt Wedge can afford to indulge their biases on Robert Andino or Jason Bay or Raul Ibanez or three catchers.  They gotta get the rotation right.

...........

Bill James learned, once he got inside baseball, that Theo Epstein's GM seasons depended on 10 or 12 mammoth decisions he made each season, and whether those turned out to be the right calls.  HERE is where they gotta get it right.  

If you look back from November 2013, and the Mariners turned out to have a great season, it says here it will probably have been -- primarily -- because they made the right calls in the rotation.

NEXT

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SABR MattIf we don't fall out of contention, it will be because Corey Hart and Michael Saunders helped us. Saunders in particular could be a HUGE boost.5 hours 58 min ago
moethedogWe were always going to have a 0-3 or 1-3 stretch. They can't be avoided. Let's hope ours is behind us.6 hours 17 min ago
rick82It does feel that way, but let's see what happens in the next two days. If we steal a game tomorrow, and Felix dominates, we may be feeling different.17 hours 59 min ago
Gordon GrossWe'll see. It's a bad week to have a bad week, but nobody's running away with the 2nd wildcard. We have offensive and pitching reinforcements. We'll see if and how we deploy them, but this is where a manager has to pull the right strings and get a lil lucky. We haven't been lucky the last week. Give it a minute to see if that continues.18 hours 27 sec ago
SABR Mattwe are about to swoon out of the race IMHO18 hours 9 min ago
GLSLove to see the M's go after Hammel in the offseason.21 hours 18 min ago
DaddyOThe starting pitching seems to have hit a wall, and except for Ackley's resuscitating 3-run bomb in the final game vs. Washington this offense is again on life support. We are hanging in the Wild Card 2 chase only because our nearest competitors are also struggling. But we are letting more teams creep into the competition. Hope our current struggles are like they've been all year, temporary. What's worrisome is this is the first time the pitching has contributed to the struggles.21 hours 57 min ago
IcebreakerXThe good ship is on fire...22 hours 59 min ago
rick82Grand Slam Quintero should be activated immediately to put fear in the hearts of the Orcs!1 day 1 hour ago
moethedogThe Mariners have placed first baseman Jesus Montero on the suspended list for the remainder of the 2014 season, the team announced. The move comes as no surprise given that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik recently said that Montero wouldn’t play again this year in order to focus on off-the-field issues. Montero’s suspension and Willie Bloomquist being moved to the 60-day DL creates two spots on the team’s 40-man roster that have been filled by catcher Humberto Quintero and right-hander Carson Smith, who had their contracts selected in corresponding moves.1 day 1 hour ago
rick82So nice to see our consolation prize draft pick salvage the weekend of Stasburg, Harper and Rendon.1 day 4 hours ago
MtGrizzly‬"I just think he's turned a corner," manager Lloyd McClendon said after Ackley finished 2-for-4 to lift his batting average to .260. "He believes in what he's doing and he's very confident in the type of player he is, and it's showing up in the field."‬1 day 19 hours ago
MtGrizzlyAckley is in a nice zone right now. He's very calm looking in the batter's box, which is nice to see.1 day 20 hours ago
DaddyOWhere would the M's be if the Ackley of July and August was the Ackley we've seen since his rookie year?1 day 20 hours ago
Tacoma RainOh now you have done it... Jinx city... Ackley is about to go zero for thousand1 day 23 hours ago
rick82Ackley is for real. I'm sold. And I didn't think Morales could get even slower. He's an albatross around this offense's neck with his inability to move. He needs more power to justify his spot in this lineup.1 day 23 hours ago
rick82I've taken my grandson to watch 18 innings this week, in which we scored a grand total of 1 run. The problem remains the offense. And last night...James Jones to the rescue? Where's Romero, the guy who's tearing apart AAA? Heck, Ty Kelly, for that matter.2 days 1 hour ago
Tacoma RainAdam Dunn to the A's for minor league relief pitcher.... I wonder how many more moves teams in the playoff hunt will make this year.2 days 3 hours ago
Tacoma RainMaybe our players are tired because of all the travelling and due to the stress of all the close games2 days 17 hours ago
IcebreakerXInteresting that the M's haven't been able to find a way to keep Felix & the starters fresh, even with the extremely awesome bullpen.2 days 19 hours ago